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Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« on: August 01, 2012, 05:18:08 AM »
Post received by Wakas on Facebook

peace brother Joseph, I read your article on 5 prayers: http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20five%20prayers%20from%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm

Here are the issues that you may wish to have another look at:

11:114 says “near/proximal parts” (plural – 3 or more) – proximal to what? Two ends of day.

Equates SBH and HMD to salat, however, if doing so, one must equate them in all verses mentioning times, once one does this, the times of SBH/HMD/salat become irreconcilable, or at least no-one I have ever read has done so. Did you analyse all such verses with timings?

5-a-day means no time-ranges given for all salat, or for some only, if so, explanation required.

2:238 – al salat al wusta is not in the same form as “salat al fajr/isha”, according to Arabic, the former is a description, the latter a specific.
If one chooses "middle prayer" then why is this singled out and is it this one can be done on the move? Requires explanation.

why in some verses does it mention some salat only, and not others, seemingly missing some out etc.

Other information:
Earliest Islamic sources clearly show it was originally two salat daily, with an optional night vigil.
http://www.urirubin.com/downloads/articles/morning.pdf
Post "night journey" (isra & miraj) it changed to 5, according to tradition.
Only two salat times mentioned by name in Quran - coincidence?
No record of "wusta" ever being a salat.
Examples of a twice daily seemingly in Quran itself: 6:52-53, 18:27-28.

In my humble opinion, the evidence is heavily weighted in favour of a minimum of two daily, for the mumineen - I say minimum as one could do more if one wishes etc.

Please note, I'm not looking for a lengthy discussion, just wanted to highlight issues. If in future, you look into, let me know the update. Thanks.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 09:02:07 AM »
Salamun Alaikum,

With respect, I feel that there are unwarranted assumptions in the contentions that you have shared. Please see my responses in BLUE and BOLD BLACK to your points in BROWN

11:114 says “near/proximal parts” (plural – 3 or more) – proximal to what? Two ends of day.

I assume the plurality in 11:114 you refer to is the indefinite noun 'zulfan'. This simply means an approach or to come close to in position. In this case it is used in conjunction with 'layl' which is a reference to the Maghrib prayer.

Equates SBH and HMD to salat, however, if doing so, one must equate them in all verses mentioning times, once one does this, the times of SBH/HMD/salat become irreconcilable, or at least no-one I have ever read has done so. Did you analyse all such verses with timings?

Why 'must' one equate them in all verses? I feel this is an unwarranted assumption with no Quranic or linguistic authority. This is a methodology of analysing the Quran which I humbly submit is incorrect and does not capture the various nuances of Arabic words in various contexts. For example, 'dhikr' simply means remembrance. It may or may not refer to the salat prayer. Salat can be a form of 'dhikr' but not all 'dhikr' is necessary 'salat'. Similarly, 'hmd' simply means 'to praise' as well as 'sbh' which can mean to magnify or celebrate or praise. Both 'hmd' and 'sbh' can encompass the salat the prayer.

In verse 20:130, the Quran used 'sbh' in 'wasabbih' to glorify the Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting. These are specific periods which are mentioned without the use of 'salat'. However, we know from other parts of the Quran, these periods have also been used as periods to establish salat. For example Fajr salat is mentioned in 24:58 and referred to in 11:114. Similarly, 'sbh' in 'subhana' is again mentioned as a period to glorify God in 30:17 referring to Fajr (hina tusbihuna)

030:017
“So (give) glory to God, when you reach the evening (Arabic: hina tumsuna) and when you reach the morning (Arabic: hina tusbihuna)”
 
At no place does the Quran establish prayer by names. Where the Quran has mentioned the names of 'prayer', it has not named them with a view to establish them. 

Rather, the named prayers are referred to indirectly as a reference point while dealing with other matters. (Salat al-Fajr and Salat al-Isha as a period of undress / privacy - 24:58)


5-a-day means no time-ranges given for all salat, or for some only, if so, explanation required.

The Quran refers to establishing prayer (aqimi-salata) by referring to the periods of the day and not by reference to their names. The article clearly discusses the periods of the day when these prayers need to be established.

2:238 – al salat al wusta is not in the same form as “salat al fajr/isha”, according to Arabic, the former is a description, the latter a specific.
If one chooses "middle prayer" then why is this singled out and is it this one can be done on the move? Requires explanation.


Even if 'wusta' is an adjective, the phrase 'salat-al-wusta' clearly refers to a definite known period. The best inference from the word is a reference to the 'middle' which would imply the middle prayer. It is simply describing a period of the day when the prayer is read. The absence of the reason why it has been singled out is not sufficient warrant to contest its existence. If God says guard 'hafiz' the salat-ul-wusta, then that testimony is sufficient to guard it.

why in some verses does it mention some salat only, and not others, seemingly missing some out etc.

The Quran refers to establishing prayer (aqimi-salata) by referring to the periods of the day and not by reference to their names. Names of particular prayers in the Quran have only been cited as reference points and to emphasise a particular prayer and not with a view to establish them.

For example, in verse 24:58, where the names of the prayer ‘Salaat-il-Fajri’ and ‘Salaat-il-Isha’ do appear, they are referred to by virtue of them being reference points when certain groups of people require permission at times of undress / privacy.
 
024:058           
"O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer (Arabic: Salaat-il Fajri); and when you put aside your clothes for the noon; and after the late-night prayer (Arabic: Salaat-il'isha): these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does God make clear the Signs to you: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom"

At no place does the Quran say establish the 'Fajr' salat or 'Isha' salat.

Fajr and Isha have no meaning on their own. The Quran does not define that Fajr=X, and Isha=Y. We only know what these prayers refer to because these prayers have been assigned periods in other parts of the Quran.

For example, the period of Fajr is captured in the prayers at the two ends of the day (Salata-Tarafayi) as well as the hina tusbihuna (reaching the morning) in verse 30:17. Isha's period can equally be captured in the two ends of the day (salata Tarafa) 11:114 and in verses 3:17, 39:9 and 25:64.


Other information:
Earliest Islamic sources clearly show it was originally two salat daily, with an optional night vigil.
http://www.urirubin.com/downloads/articles/morning.pdf
Post "night journey" (isra & miraj) it changed to 5, according to tradition.
Only two salat times mentioned by name in Quran - coincidence?
No record of "wusta" ever being a salat.
Examples of a twice daily seemingly in Quran itself: 6:52-53, 18:27-28.



With regards your admission of secondary sources to support your Quranic position, this is unacceptable. This is a Quran based discussion and the admission of secondary sources as the ones you cite is respectfully, unwarranted.

In my humble opinion, the evidence is heavily weighted in favour of a minimum of two daily, for the mumineen - I say minimum as one could do more if one wishes etc.

With respect, I disagree with this statement on the basis of a lack of cogent information cited and contentions based on unwarranted assumptions.

As per my article, I humbly find that the Quran clearly establishes five periods in which prayer is to be performed during the day.


I hope this helps, God willing.

Kind regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 06:59:13 PM »
Dear Joseph, w/salaam,

Thanks for the quick reply.

To make things clearer, I have numbered the points. All quotes are from what you wrote.


1) re: 11:114, please clarify "near/proximal" to what according to the Arabic? And if your answer could be classed as an "unwarranted assumption" on your part?
Note my use of "could" implying at least theoretically.


2)
Quote
In this case it is used in conjunction with 'layl' which is a reference to the Maghrib prayer.

Could this be classed as an "unwarranted assumption" on your part?


3) re: hmd/sbh, I said: "...one must equate them in all verses mentioning times..."

Quote
Why 'must' one equate them in all verses? I feel this is an unwarranted assumption with no Quranic or linguistic authority.


I based it on my own logic and being consistent. Can you tell us what method you used to determine which verses with hmd/sbh with timings you took as referring to salat and which you did not? So we can determine what "Quranic or linguistic authority" you used in doing so. Thanks.


4)
Quote
Both 'hmd' and 'sbh' can encompass the salat the prayer.

Could this be classed as an "unwarranted assumption" on your part?


5) Can you clarify if the time periods stated at the start of your article are also your own view of the time periods, i.e.
Quote
Fajr                                        Morning prayers just before sunrise
Dhuhr                                   Noonday prayers (after the sun begins to decline from its zenith)
Asr                                         Prayers before sunset but after Dhuhr prayers
Maghrib                               Prayers just after sunset
Isha                                        Night prayer

Personally, I'd prefer to have your timings with verses used to determine this in brackets, for quicker reference, at the end of your article.


6) And can you clarify if, according to you, some salat have defined delimited time periods and others do not?


7) And are they roughly equal in length of time? If not, why?


8 )
Quote
Even if 'wusta' is an adjective, the phrase 'salat-al-wusta' clearly refers to a definite known period.

Could the above be classed as an "unwarranted assumption" of yours?
The fact remains Quran does not state "al salat al wusta" in the same form as "salat al fajr/isha", when it could have easily done so. The former is a description, the latter a specific. If we assume the author of Quran is not random/haphazard in placing of words then there is a reason for this.


9)
Quote
The best inference from the word is a reference to the 'middle' which would imply the middle prayer.

No it is not. At best, subjective. Here are the occurrences in Quran:

And as such, We have made you a wasatan nation... [2:143]

God will not hold you for your unintentional oaths, but He will hold you for what oaths you have made binding; its cancellation shall be the feeding of ten poor from the awsati of what you feed your family... [5:89]

The awsatu among them said: "If only you had glorified!" [68:28]

Penetrating to the wasat together. [100:5]

Only the last verse it could be said that physical "middle" fits best. The majority are "middle" in an allegorical/figurative manner, as can be seen from Classical Arabic dictionaries also. Thus, in terms of probability, "wasat" in 2:238 more likely refers to the allegorical/figurative meaning - do you agree/disagree?


10) In your article, why do you only cite one other occurrence of this word (e.g. 100:5), neglecting others?


11)
Quote
The absence of the reason why it has been singled out is not sufficient warrant to contest its existence.

Can we therefore conclude you do not have an explanation of why it is apparently singled out? Do you not find this odd?


12) Can you also tell us how you determine if it the salat wusta only that can be done on the move in case of fear (see 2:239) or others also, and how you determine that - and if your answer could be classed as an "unwarranted assumption" of yours?


13) Further, in your article you have translated the "wa/and" in 2:238 as "especially" - is this an oversight, or, only your interpretation not a translation? Please clarify.


14)
Quote
With regards your admission of secondary sources to support your Quranic position, this is unacceptable. This is a Quran based discussion and the admission of secondary sources as the ones you cite is respectfully, unwarranted.
In your article, you used Lane's Lexicon - can you clarify if this is your primary source or a secondary source? If the latter, please clarify/correct your above statement.

My mentioning other sources was simply as additional information of interest, as this may not commonly be known, e.g. very very few people know that according to tradition it was only two daily salat prior to the "isra & miraj" story.


15)  You did not comment on "Examples of a twice daily seemingly in Quran itself: 6:52-53, 18:27-28.". Please do so.


Please take your time in responding, no rush.

I hope this discussion will help students of Quran weigh and consider the information regarding this issue better. For me, it is all about "putting evidence on the table" so to speak, as once this is done, people can then weigh and consider it.

As a side note, for background information, I have discussed this issue with many people with different views on the free-minds.org/forum if you/others wish to research further.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 10:18:36 PM »
Dear Wakas,

Salamun Alaikum.

With respect, as I assume you have some fluency with spoken Arabic and have studied classical Arabic or at least MSA, I was a little surprised to find what I felt were unwarranted linguistic limitations in your methodology which is something I would usually ascribe to someone who has no knowledge of the Arabic language and solely works off dictionaries and not your kind self.

As you know very well, words have different meanings and nuances given the context. Arabic is no different and I invite other readers to think about their own native languages and consider how one word has different shades of meanings in different contexts. The Quran is no different. It is simply a discourse in the language of its primary audience.

The Quran does not intend to define words. It is not a dictionary or lexicon. The Quran cannot be understood outside the ambit of the language that existed and known to the Arabs to whom the Quran was revealed. It was their responsibility to transmit the Quran and an ability to discern the meanings of the words as witnesses to mankind (22:78) and we must also always remain conscious of the language that has reached us today. The Quran's dhikr is not simply protected as text but as a message (15:9). A message implies the ability to understand the language.

With respect Wakas, I find that your methodology is fundamentally flawed because you attempt or 'expect' to 'fit' one meaning of a word in all contexts with a view to harmonise them. One word may never fit all contexts and that is why an understanding of the language is necessary outside the Quran. For example, how would you best understand the word “Eid’ (5:114) which is a hapax legomenon in the Quran (a word only used once within the whole text) without an appreciation of the general Arabic language which has reached us?

If words do not 'fit' given your criteria, I find you attempting to find new meanings of well established words that were arguably never known to the Arabs in that context.

As I found this theme somewhat repeated throughout your contentions I will respectfully hitherto refer to this as "NUANCE REJECTION". (Not allowing for the fact that Arabic words can have different shades of meanings given different contexts). I find that you have repeated this in so many of your articles (which I will pick up for serious criticism at some other point, time permitting and God willing, to highlight my contentions). I trust that you will welcome this critique to ascertain whether your approach to the Quran / analysis can withstand scrutiny and with a view to learn.

Sadly, at places, I also find your contentions unnecessarily contentious. I would hate to stop further discourses with you if I feel that our discussions are becoming a waste of my time, effort and yours.

Here are my responses to your contentions with my own question at the end. Please take them with the sincerity imparted and with an open mind to advance learning.


(1) I have explained 'zulfan' clearly citing evidence. So there is nothing unwarranted in my assumption on my part. I have given my best interpretation.

(2) No

(3) In my opinion, your logic is respectfully fundamentally flawed. I cite NUANCE REJECTION on your part. I clearly gave evidence where sbh (glory) for example, is twinned with the need to establish salat covering similar periods of the day in other parts of the Quran.

(4) No. I cite NUANCE REJECTION on your part.

(5) There is no warrant to define times for you when the Quran only wishes to advance periods of the day for establishing salat. I find today's practice in tandem with the guidance offered by the Quran. With respect, I also find that your question is unnecessarily contrived to support your premises.

(6) Once again, the Quran gives periods of the day where one should establish salat. No fixed lengths of prayers are stipulated. Only general guidance is offered to when they should be established during certain parts of the day. Today's practice fulfills those requirements.

(7) To intimate the need for them to be equal in length is once again, unwarranted

[8] No. The Quran spoke to an audience that clearly knew what 'salat al-wusta' meant. It was a definite known period especially given the use of the definitive. I respectfully find that you have persistently ignored my article and arguments and I respectfully assert that you show confirmation bias. The Quran does not establish salat by naming them. It has used fajr / isha in 24:58 as reference points when certain groups of people require permission at times of undress / privacy. The Quran calls for the establishment of prayer in the Quran by giving guidance to the periods of the day.

(9). I gave you best inference. Your examples are once again subject to NUANCE REJECTION and confirmation bias on your part

(10) I cite what is relevant given the context accepting the nuance of the Arabic language of the Quran and the best understanding of the language as it has reached me.

(11) No I do not. A prayer has been simply cited as requiring particular attention during the day. Why do you have to make this odd, unless you seek confirmation bias?

(12) 2:238 and 239 is very simple to understand unless someone is bent on disproving salat or a particular understanding of salat from the Quran. 2:238 simply tells us to remain conscious of our prayers citing one to remain particularly attentive. 2:239 simply informs us that any usual form or assembly can be abandoned in fear but implies salat cannot. This point is unnecessarily contentious.

(13) It is an interpretation only given context and where one salat is being singled out. The literal meaning of the conjunction 'wa' is indeed 'and'.

(14) I separate using secondary sources as a base for an argument or theological judgment and using secondary sources to understand the language and nuances of the Arabic of the Quran. I have clearly dealt with this in my article below where I discuss my definition of Islamic secondary sources and 'Preservation of the language'.
 
http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/hadith%20FM2.htm


(15) In my opinion, you wrongfully assume that 6:52-53 and 18:27-28 are addressing the prayers of the believers. With respect, this assumption is wholly unwarranted. Even if we accept that these verses are referring to 'salat' which the verse does not confirm, these verses are not proving how many prayers are read by the believers.

How do you know that these prayers are not a reference to some sects of the Jews or Chirstians or Sabians that had their own method of prayer twice a day?

If this is your main support for two prayers, then in my opinion, the foundation for your position of 'two prayers' for believers is with respect, completely flawed and you have built on this flawed premise to form an opinion. With respect, in my opinion you must revisit your premises unless you feel you are a 100% right then there is no point in a discussion.

With regards free-minds, I would prefer to discuss my ideas with academics who hold strong opposing views with my contentions (traditionally trained academics included) to ascertain whether my arguments can withstand their scrutiny. I do not find platforms such as free-minds conducive to proper academic discourses. However, I acknowledge that there are some great thinkers / academics that do at times share their thoughts there.

As I know you are one of the most prolific posters on 'free-minds' to date:

http://www.free-minds.org/forum/index.php?action=stats

 ... May I kindly request you remain conscious of not using this forum inadvertently as an advertising platform.

As this forum is in its general infancy, I feel it would be rather nice for you instead to invite other members to this humble platform for reasoned academic discussions. This will help continue its growing reader base, rather than (inadvertently of course) use this platform to entice readers to a platform of which you respectfully, are the most prolific poster.

I have presented my arguments in my articles and given my responses to your contentions. As I assume you are asserting the requirement for a 2-prayer salat from a Quranic perspective, and keeping in view my response (15) to your premise, please can you provide me clear evidence from the Quran that it requires believers to perform 2 salaats a day.

I look forward to your clear, unequivocal evidence in support of your theory.

Welcome to the forum anyway! Nice to have you here.  :)
 
With respect,
Joseph.



'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 01:33:47 PM »
Dear Joseph, w/salaam,

Thanks for the reply.

Before I begin, please tell me where I stated the following:

Quote
With respect Wakas, I find that your methodology is fundamentally flawed because you attempt or 'expect' to 'fit' one meaning of a word in all contexts with a view to harmonise them.

With respect, this is a strawman logical fallacy. I have never said what you imply in the above statement.
Whilst one may think this when reading some of my works I have actually NEVER said one meaning must fit all occurrences. Not here or other forums, not in my articles, not on facebook, and the perhaps most notable (if it indeed was my view) not in my 8000+ posts on the free-minds.org forum.

My view is that the strong preference is to have a consistent meaning for a word in the same form throughout Quran UNLESS there is a solid reason not to, e.g. based on logic.

Therefore I humbly request you correct your statement.



Why there are parts in red will be explained nearer the end. Ignore them for now:

Re: 1) I asked a simple question: near/proximal to what according to the Arabic? If your view is it means "EARLY approaches/hours from the layl"  then please state so. I request this so readers can weigh and consider for themselves.

Re: 2) it most definitely is an assumption on your part. This is fact. However, whether it is "unwarranted" or not is a judgement call so I cant comment on that. I am disappointed you did not at least clarify you are making an assumption, not only in this instance but several times in your work.
My point is simple - you have assumed one thing, and for sake of argument, I have assumed another, i.e. proximal/near parts needs a marker and thus refers to the two ends of the daytime. This is also theoretically possible. Simple. Again, the intention is to have the evidence on the table, for readers to be able to weigh and consider for themselves.

Re: 3) Since you were not clear, I will have to assume you did not use all verses that mention sbh/hmd WITH timings as referring to salat, AND that you have no system other than subjective opinion (or pre-conceived notion) when you determined which ones were referring to salat and which were not.
If true, I would cite this as a fundamental flaw in your view.

Re: 4) See opening statement of this post of mine.
You make an assumption that certain sbh/hmd can refer to the timed salat. Simple. You seemingly do not consider that other possibilities include: if God meant salat He could have used that word, or, it is an idiomatic phrase, or, it is referring to the prophet only due to it being singular, or, refers to something else etc etc.

Re: 5) and 6) thanks for clarifying.

Re: 7) I will have to conclude, therefore, that you have no explanation as to why the time periods differ in length.

Re: 8 ) it most definitely is an assumption on your part. This is fact. However, whether it is "unwarranted" or not is a judgement call so I cant comment on that. I am disappointed you did not at least clarify you are making an assumption, not only in this instance but several times in your work.
And as for "confirmation bias" I could say the same thing about your work, i.e. pre-conceived notion of it being 5 daily.

Re: 9) Interestingly you claim "nuance rejection" even when I openly said "Only the last verse it could be said that physical "middle" fits best. I have very little problem it meaning "midst/middle" here.
My contention was very simple: majority usage of the word means middle in a figurative manner thus in terms of probability as to the meaning in 2:238, it is more likely middle in a figurative manner. This is fact. Whether it is true or not is another matter.
Once again, you make an assumption and opt for literal middle as the meaning. What underpins your assumption is "confirmation bias" which ironically you accuse me of.

Re: 10) in other words, it could be said, your choosing of verses to cite shows subjectivity and "confirmation bias".

Re: 11) Thanks for clarifying you do not have an explanation as to why it has apparently been singled out.
This is not a case of "confirmation bias" on my part as I was referring to YOUR view and asking further about it.

Re: 12) Thanks for clarifying it is an inference/assumption on your part as to which salat or salawat 2:239 refers to. Nothing wrong with an inference/assumption, as long as it is clearly pointed out for readers to weigh and consider.

Re: 13) Thanks for clarifying it is an interpretation on your part. Again, for me it is all about putting the evidence on the table so readers can weigh and consider for themselves. You do not mention this in your article - perhaps you should.

Re: 14) Thanks for clarifying. As I'm sure you know Classical Arabic dictionaries are, in part, based on Traditional Islamic sources such as Traditional Hadith.

Re: 15) Yes, I have assumed one thing - you have assumed another. Simple.
There is nothing conclusive but in terms of weighing the evidence 6:53 and 6:54 both continue from 6:52 with "wa", and in 6:54 it refers to "those who believe" (i.e. mumineen), and in 18:29 it seems to refer to a mix of people: those who believe/reject. It is hard to say.
Interestingly you say "Even if we accept that these verses are referring to 'salat' which the verse does not confirm" - when same could be said for your use of hmd/sbh verses.

You said:
Quote
If this is your main support for two prayers, then in my opinion, the foundation for your position of 'two prayers' for believers is with respect, completely flawed

It is not my main support. We were discussing YOUR article, so it is not necessary for me to cite my evidence for my view. I find this comment of yours rash and unfair.

My article, albeit a brief one, can be read here: http://mypercept.co.uk/articles/slw.htm
However it does not discuss the timings in detail, as this was not its intention. The timing information is the result of many discussions on free-minds, the better ones have been linked to here in a compilation thread for easier reading: http://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9598319.0 (see reply #3)
It may be easier for you to simply state what problems, if any, you find in such a view. If memory serves me correctly, I recall very few, but certainly, in my view, nowhere near the scale of problems in the 3 or 5 view.

Re: academics
I'm not sure how you define "academics" or if this forum is primarily populated by such "academics", but I do not have such a distinction when discussing Quran with others. All I prefer is discussion based on evidence/reason whoever it is with. All forums, if large enough, have a mix of good/bad people with regards to this point. I'd be the first to state free-minds forum has its share of those who speak nonsense, but unfortunately I only have a say in the forum rules I do not decide them unilaterally.

I have linked to this site many times. I link to wherever is relevant. Usually, the intention is not to advertise but I can see how that impression might be given.

Thanks for the welcome to the forum.

###

In somewhat of a summary, I have highlighted in red the issues with your view, for easier reference.

Readers are free to weigh and consider the evidence for themselves.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 02:02:39 PM »
Dear Wakas,

Salamun Alaikum.

Thanks for your post.

I clearly find the traditional 5 prayers supported by the Quran and I with respect, feel nothing that you have raised has provided any cogency for an apt rebuttal. I appreciate that readers can form their own opinions.

When one makes an opinion for a certain position, they weigh all the evidence and counter evidence for an alternate viable position. If you provide no evidence for a viable alternate position for your 2 prayers, then your premises cannot be fairly considered either.

I only desired to weigh the evidence in favour of a 2 prayer system as a possible alternative as opposed to my argument for 5, so I do not feel my request was unwarranted, rash or unfair. Your criticism is therefore unwarranted.

Finally, I never 'stated' that you said:

Quote
With respect Wakas, I find that your methodology is fundamentally flawed because you attempt or 'expect' to 'fit' one meaning of a word in all contexts with a view to harmonise them.

It was clearly my opinion which should be clear for anyone reading my quote "I find ..." Therefore, I find no reason to correct my statement as it is a personal opinion. It was merely an observation on my part so your citation of an informal fallacy on my part is unwarranted and somewhat ironical as you misrepresent my position.

My opinion was simply based on many of your articles and arguments that I have read and engaged with you on hitherto and where I find your methodology with respect, flawed. An example of this is your fantastic and unwarranted understanding of 'sujud' and 'masjid' to which you seem to pin alien meanings when you can't appreciate simple nuances of the language and where you have trouble reconciling verses. I only mention this as I find that you bring the same limitations in your analysis technique and faulty premises that you oft form to this discussion.

If we are going to challenge any position, traditional or otherwise, it is my humble view that the Quranic evidence has to be unequivocal, clear and cogent to contest it. I have till date failed to see any such evidence and neither have you provided any.

Thank you for your posts. With respect, I find absolutely no credibility in your contentions which I appreciate is for other readers to consider for their own.

Thanks for your efforts nevertheless, which are indeed appreciated.  :)

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 04:21:08 PM »
Dear Joseph, w/salaam,

Thanks for the swift reply.

You said:
Quote
I only desired to weigh the evidence in favour of a 2 prayer system as a possible alternative as opposed to my argument for 5, so I do not feel my request was unwarranted, rash or unfair. Your criticism is therefore unwarranted.

Your response to me implied something, and that is you expect forum members, such as myself, who point out something in your articles that they should provide a detailed evidenced article of their contrary position whilst doing so. Or if they mention something and ask your view on it, and even if they put it under "other information", it is fair for you to assume that this is their "main support" for their position!

I find the above notions completely objectionable, and in my view, a clear example of an error in judgement on your part. If you disagree, it is ok, each to their own subjectivity.

You said:
Quote
It was clearly my opinion which should be clear for anyone reading my quote "I find ..." Therefore, I find no reason to correct my statement as it a personal opinion.

And I clarified your "opinion" of my method is not true.

You said:
Quote
An example of this is your fantastic and unwarranted understanding of 'sujud' and 'masjid' to which you seem to pin alien meanings when you can't appreciate simple nuances of the language and where you have trouble reconciling verses. I only mention this as I find that you bring the same limitations in your analysis technique and faulty premises that you oft form to this discussion.

Firstly, I am glad to hear that you know of those works and have perhaps read them. If we do not read alternative views, or works that challenge our views, then we can never truly weigh and consider the truth, and would clearly fall afoul of "confirmation bias". We should all bear this in mind.

You claim I pinned alien meanings, when I am sure you are very aware that not only Classical Arabic dictionaries but also Quran itself uses "sujud" how I understand the term (even traditional exegetes). And as for "masjid", well the jury is out on that one, but I know one thing, the problems I point out are clear for all to see. If you have understandings of 2:187 and 18:21 please link me to them, thanks.
(Reference for readers who may be unaware of what is being referred to: see sujud and masjid links)

You said:
Quote
I have till date failed to see any such evidence and neither have you provided any.

In your view, yes (assuming you read them). For others, see the links I provided.

You said:
Quote
...I find absolutely no credibility in your contentions...

I find the language you use absolutist. Personally, I would not describe your 5-a-day position in the above terms, even though I disagree with it.


And in case it was not obvious, I also appreciate your works, in fact, very much so.

Regards,
Wakas

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 05:22:07 PM »
Salamun Alaikum Wakas.

Thanks for your comments. Please always construe my language with any apparent certainty only as my personal opinion based on the evidence that has reached me, that I have put to scrutiny and am convinced of at that point in time. It is not intended to portray an indisputable perfection of thought, absolute or an irrefutable authority.

Also, If you ever feel you want to get another view or critique of a thought / concept or just bounce academic ideas and you deem me appropriate, please feel free to ask. I can only promise to be sincere and honest in my humble opinion and to do my best. I will of course assume that these sentiments are mutual.

You will already know of my views on 'sujud' which appear as a short article on my site. Many readers here I am sure are also already aware.

http://quransmessage.com/articles/sujud%20FM3.htm

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 06:48:12 PM »
peace Joseph, all,

I recently compiled a brief list of Qs from my original article, to allow readers to more easily go through the issues raised in the article.

#####

From here.

For those who consider "sujud" to mean "physical prostration":

1) Re: SJD to/for adam/mankind - 2:34, 7:11-12, 15:29-32, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 38:72-76
Issue: if taken as a commonly understood physical prostration, it seems odd that angels/controllers or iblees (made of 'smokeless fire') could do this in a defined physical visible form, but it is possible - what is your view?

2) Re: 22:18, 55:6 - SJD to/for God who is in the heavens/earth, and the sun/moon/stars/mountains/trees/creatures and many of the people
13:15 ...to/for God SJD who is in the heavens and the earth, willingly and unwillingly, and their shadows in the mornings and late-afternoons.
Issue: Contextually implying that the same SJD is done by the shadows as well as who is in the heavens/earth, meaning it is unlikely for it to mean prostrate here - what is the "sujud" of inanimate objects?
If we accept that someone may prostrate physically (nose and forehead on ground) willingly, how can we understand this unwillingly? Does God push people on their faces forcefully so that they fall down on their noses and foreheads unwillingly?

3) Re: 16:48-50 Can they not look to a thing God created? Its shadow turns to the right and the left, SuJaD to/for God and/while they are humble.
Issues: If we take the above as prostrations/prostrating (as some translations do), then this would clearly imply that no matter which direction the shadow faces it is STILL prostrating to/for God, i.e. God is everywhere, which links with "to God belongs the east and west so wherever you turn there is God's face/regard", see 2:115. This strongly and clearly implies direction is irrelevant here - what is your view on this?
Since SJD is in the Arabic plural (more than two) we can infer that each and every point in the shadow's movement is a SJD. How is it showing this SJD?

4) Re: 27:24 "And I found her and her people SJuD to/for the sun instead of God! And the devil had made their works/deeds appear good to them, so averting/hindering them from the path, so they are not guided."
27:25 "Will they not SJuD to/for God who brings out what is hidden in the heavens and the Earth, and He knows what you hide and what you declare?"
Issues: Note it says the hoopoe "found" (wajad) them, not "saw" (raayt) them as in Joseph's dream in which he saw the moon/sun/planets SJD to/for him. Of course, moon/sun/planets do not physically prostrate as humans do, so what Joseph saw was something else - how were the sun/moon/planets giving sujud to Joseph?
So let us assume it means a traditional prostration in 27:24, how can one identify whom the prostration is done to?

5) Re: 84:21-22 And when the Quran/reading is recited to them, they do not SJuD. No, those who have rejected/concealed are denying.
Issue: Interestingly, if sujud=prostration here then this implies God wishes the audience to not only accept what is said but ALSO get down on their hands and knees and prostrate physically (to whom/what?). This seems unusual. What is your understanding of this?

6) Re: 48:29 Muhammad is the messenger of God, and those who are with him are stern against the concealers/rejecters/ingrates, but merciful between themselves. You see them inclining/humbling and SuJaD, seeking bounty from God and pleasure/approval. Their distinction is in their faces/attentions/considerations/wills/purposes, from the trace/teaching/influence of the SuJuD.
Issues: Perhaps the majority of people would not have a trace of prostration on their face from physically prostrating in prayer for example, even if it was done many times per day, so this understanding, whilst superficially plausible, actually falls short - what is your view?
It should be noted that in the prior context, 48:25, it clearly implies some believers were unknown/unrecognisable, which makes it even more unlikely it is referring to a physical mark on one's face - response?

7) Re: 2:58, 4:154, 7:161 ...enter the gate SuJuD
Issue: Clearly they cannot enter the gate prostrating - response?

8 ) Re: Re: 7:120, 20:70, 26:46
20:70 Then the magicians were cast* SuJaD. They said: "We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses."
*Arabic: uL'QiYa is in the passive perfect form, meaning the object (i.e. magicians) received the action expressed in the verb, an action done/completed upon them. Using cross-reference the most likely meaning of this word is "cast" and is a likely play on words due to the casting done in the previous context.
Issues: IF it is translated as physically thrown/cast down (as done in most translations), since it is passive, then one must ask who/what physically threw them down? The answer is of course nothing/no-one, they did it themselves, thus a physical throwing/casting interpretation becomes illogical. To negate this point, an example similar to this in AQ using another passive verb would have to be cited.
Further, looking at the following verses, is it likely they made a statement whilst physically prostrating on the ground? - yes/no/unsure

9) Re: 68:42-43 The day the shin shall be exposed/uncovered/removed, and they will be called to the SuJuD but they will not be able. Their looks/eyes humbled/lowered, humiliation will cover them. And indeed they were called to the SuJuD while they were sound/well.
Issue: It should be noted that having one's shin removed is unlikely to prevent one from doing a physical prostration, hence some translators claiming they will be unable to prostrate simply due to their shame, but if this is the case, the obvious question becomes: why mention a shin at all? - response?

10) Re: 17:107-109 Say: "Believe in it or do not believe in it. Those who have been given the knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins SuJaD."
Issue: do you take it as a physical prostration to the chin or not, or something else?

11) Re: 84:20-22 So what is the matter with them that they do not believe? And when the quran/reading is being recited to them, they do not SJuD. No, those who rejected/concealed are denying.
32:15 Only they believe in Our signs whom when they are reminded by them, they fall SuJaD, and glorify with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant.
Issue: this clearly suggests that whenever Quran is recited the audience should physically prostrate - what is your view?

12) Re: 4:102 ...and thou uphold/establish the salat/bond for/to them, then let a group from among them stand/uphold//establish with thee and let them bring their weapons; then when they have SaJaD then let them be behind you (plural)...
Issues:
---it would imply that salat ends upon SJD, but if salat=prayer and SJD=prostration here, then we know traditional Muslim prayer has at least two prostrations per unit of prayer, not one, thus the verse by itself is not clear or does not make sense. The only way for it to make some sense would be to say traditional Muslim prayer normally consists of two prostrations, and since it is during wartime this can be reduced to one prostration. There is no such thing as a unit of prayer according to The Quran, nor do traditional Muslims do it in this manner (i.e. prayer does not end with prostration), but this explanation is just to show what sense could be made of this verse according to the traditional understanding.
---it implies that one must take AND hold their weapons/goods with them (by use of 'tadaAAoo / lay down', later in the verse), but if it is understood as traditional Muslim prayer then physically bowing, kneeling and prostrating like this would be impractical and somewhat dangerous, e.g. prostrating with swords!
---it says if impeded by rain or illness then one can lay down weapons but does not say anything about being excluded from prostrating. So the obvious question becomes what kind of rain/illness would prevent one from carrying weapons yet allow one to physically prostrate? It would seem there is no easy answer to this problem.
---We are also left with another problem, because if we accept that the regular/timed salat involves recitation of AQ which is strongly evidenced by AQ itself, and agreed upon by almost all [see 2:43-45, 4:103, 5:12-13, 7:169-170, 8:2-3, 19:58-59, 29:45, 31:2-7, 33:33-34, 17:78], then we know we are commanded to SJD when it is relayed to us [84:20-22, 19:58, 32:15], but if we were to do this in the regular/timed salat and we know salat ends with SJD according to 4:102 then it would last less than 20 seconds!
Views on these 4 issues?



Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 03:11:58 AM »
Respected brother Wakas,

As-salam alaykum

This is actually a very good way to summarise your contentions.

The way you have formulated your questions is also commendable as it shares the premises behind why you have chosen to take an alternative view and yet 'seemingly' leaves and air of 'openness' that if someone can prove to you why a particular understanding may be better, you ‘may’ be willing to consider it / reconsider your position.

I believe this is the best approach as one who can / is willing to alter their views in light of a possible better or more convincing argument without fear of others.

I approach your kindly shared contentions with some premises. I would like to highlight them first. I trust that you do not necessarily disagree with them.


MY FUNDAMENTAL PREMISES

  • The Quran was revealed to a certain people who already spoke Arabic and the Quran merely communicated to them most effectively in their particular vernacular.
  • Therefore, the Quran did not intend to ‘invent’ or ‘define’ meanings of well understood Arabic words as it was not a dictionary or a lexicon. It merely intended to make use of an existing language with all its peculiarities and nuances with a view to deliver a message.
  • Arabic words such as words in other languages can have different meanings based on context.
    For example:
    'Lamasa' means to touch, any sort of touch. However, the verb 'lamasa' in the context of verse 5:6 and 4:43 in the expression 'lamastumu'nisaa' has a context and is a reference to sexual contact.
    As with any language including English, a word can have different meanings depending on context.
    For example:
    - Keep in 'touch'
    - Don't 'touch' my belongings
    - This 'touching' incident happened last year
    - He 'touched' me (non-sexual)
    - He 'touched' me (sexual)
  • Similarly, the Arabic word' sujud' (SJD) does not exclusively mean physical prostration. Its primary meaning is "to become submissive, humble, to make obeisance, to pay respect". For example the Arabic phrase 'sajadati'nakhlatu' means the 'the palm-tree bent or inclined' possibly due to its fruits or ‘al-safinatu tasajadu'larihi'’ means the ship bends or inclines by the influence of winds, or 'sajada lahu' means he saluted or paid respect, honoured him. The word 'sajada' is also used with camels implying that it lowered its head to be ridden or a direct inference to the rider.

In a similar manner, humans can also show their humility, submissiveness (sujud) by a physical prostration but not restricted to it. For example, Prophet Joseph’s family didn’t necessarily 'physically prostrate’ to him but saluted him, or showed some form of deep respect to him (12:100) in the manner humans did at that time to a person in authority. It was not done in 'worship'.

This still retains the primary meaning of the word of 'humility', 'submissiveness' and to 'pay respect'.

A physical prostration is only one form of showing such reverence that human’s use and even then it does not necessarily imply 'worship'. Some people around the world touch the feet of others or bow down to others out of sincere respect even when greeting others.

This multifaceted nuanced meaning of SJD depending on context can also be seen in the following example in the Quran:

007.161
"And remember it was said to them: "Dwell in this town and eat from it as you wish, but say the word of humility and enter the gate in a posture of humility (Arabic: Sujjada(n)). We shall forgive you your faults; We shall increase (the portion of) those who do good.""
 
The word SJD here clearly implies 'entering the gate humbly' or 'in a posture of humility'.
 
Only the language of the Arabs can determine how best to interpret SJD in a particular context, much like it is for us 'as native English speakers' to specify how 'touch' is used and understood in different contexts in English.


YOUR CONTENTIONS IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE PREMISES


  • As discussed, they were simply asked to pay respects. This does not imply a 'physical prostration' in a human sense. With utmost respect, will you be willing to consider this in light of the above?
  • The 'SJD' of inanimate objects is to become 'submissive' to God's commands. In the context of the primary definition of 'SJD', will you be prepared to humbly consider this?
  • The shadows are simply following the laws of nature, with the sun as the 'pilot' in submission. In the context of the primary definition of 'SJD', with respect, will you be willing to consider this in light of the above?
  • If we allow for the primary meaning of 'SJD', can you see how the 'SJD' in this context is simply a term to imply that they were showing adoration, worshipping, showing submissiveness to the sun and not necessarily by 'physical prostration'? Will you be prepared to humbly consider this suggestion in light of 'SJD's' primary meaning?
  • They simply do not show humility, submissiveness or obeisance in their demeanour. This is after all the primary meaning of SJD. Will you be humbly willing to consider this?
  • I do not sense from the Arabic verse that the Quran intends to imply that 'all' (kul) believers would have marks on their foreheads due to physical prostrations. It is simply cited as a similitude to capture a condition of some people who will retain marks on their foreheads much like those that prostrated of old as cited in the example from the Torah. After all even Prophet's Moses and Aaron, fell on their faces in humility (Numbers 16:22).
  • Of course, this is not a reference to a physical prostration as the core meaning of the word 'SJD' clearly indicates. The word SJD in verse 7:161 is only intended to convey the meaning to 'enter the gate humbly' or 'in a posture of humility'. This is consistent with the primary meaning of SJD. With utmost respect, will you be willing to consider this in light of the above?
  • Yes, they could have said this statement whilst physically prostrating or after they had become 'lowly', 'submissive' having submitted to the truth manifested to them. This state of ‘submissiveness’ is also supported by their response 'We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses'All these renditions are within the primary definition of the word 'SJD'.
  • 'Baring ones shin' is synonymous in my view with all one’s inner thoughts, intentions, feelings, inner secrets of the heart (100:10) et al which are brought out into the open. It is a state of 'openness' where one cannot deny their deeds. This would not be a state of humility for some, rather humiliation. Hence this is why they will not be able to do 'SJD' in its widest nuanced interpretation.
  • No different from Prophet's Moses or Aaron falling on their faces in humility (Numbers 16:22), the SJD in verse 17:107 is simply to imply 'in humility', 'reverence' or 'submissiveness'. The latter renditions are completely consistent with the primary meaning of the word 'SJD'.
  • Once again, within the remit of the primary meaning of the word 'SJD' it implies a state of 'humility' or submissiveness'. In other words, the Quran asks, why do they not become humbled, or become submissive, lowly, in awe and reverence once the message of the Quran is shared with them? Many do take these verses literally and when they hear these verses, there is a tradition in which they fall prostrate. I have discussed this in a separate article [1] below. However, the primary meaning of 'humility' of the word SJD is still applicable.
  • You kindly suggest that it would imply that salat ends upon a 'SJD'. With respect, I do not feel that we need to infer such a restrictive interpretation. You have respectfully, yet without warrant, inferred a 'physical prostration'. If we simply allow the primary meaning of the word SJD to remain operative (i.e. SJD = humility, pay respect, honour, salute and humble), then salat can end once the spiritual experience of prayer is completed irrespective of whether or not this means a physical prostration.

    'Aslihah' is simply a reference to their weapons. What kind of weapons (e.g. swords etc) is not specified. The expression 'walyakhudu aslihatahum' simply implies for a group of people to retain their arms with their persons as they are still in a state of war. It is a cue not to be hoodwinked and to underscore the need to take all due precautions. 

    'Fa'idha sajadu' (Then when they have prostrated) simply refers to the condition when they have completed their reverence to God (i.e. their prayer). Therefore, they are still technically in a 'state of war', even during fulfilling religious obligations.

    Not necessarily connected to prayer, during sickness or during rain etc, which is cited as an exception, one can put away their arms though they still remain in a state of war.



THEREFORE IN SUMMARY:
 
  • SJD primarily means to show humility, submissiveness, to be humbled, show reverence, salute, honour, pay regards, respects etc
  • Different creations of God show their humility and submissiveness in different ways
  • Physical prostration is only one way humans show their humility (SJD)
  • A physical prostration is not only performed by humans in worship but also out of deep respect for another. However, in a state of prayer to God, a physical rendition of the term is often implied.

I hope that this addresses some of your contentions once you have allowed the word ‘SJD’ to operate with the nuanced understanding that I feel it is meant to be in the language of the Arabs, God willing.

I hope you do not see it as anything more than two believers attempting to mull over God's messages with sincerity in the midst of a proverbial campfire.

With utmost respect and regards,
Joseph.  :)



REFERENCES:

[1] SAJDA e-TILAWAT - UNDERSTANDING THE TRADITION
http://quransmessage.com/articles/st%20FM3.htm
[2] WHAT IS THE QURANIC SUJUD (PROSTRATION)?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/sujud%20FM3.htm






'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 05:12:10 AM »
peace brother Joseph,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Re: your premises
I agree with what you said, however the only thing I'd add is that when it comes to "different meanings depending on context" I have a preference for evidence - what I mean by this is ideally there should be a logical/practical reason why one meaning is chosen rather than another. For example I do not give much weight to reason such as "I like meaning A better than meaning B". I can appreciate that sometimes having such a preference can occur, as there may be no evidence either way, but this should be kept to a minimum.

###

Re: 2)
You never commented on: "If we accept that someone may prostrate physically (nose and forehead on ground) willingly, how can we understand this unwillingly? Does God push people on their faces forcefully so that they fall down on their noses and foreheads unwillingly?"

Please clarify.


Re: 6)
Did you cite the correct verse, i.e. 16:22?

Re: 8 )
Out of curiosity are you aware of a passive verb usage in Quran wherein the doer and receiver are one and the same person? I understand that this would take ages to check, but if you know of an example etc please let me know. I just thought it was a strange usage, hence my request.

Re: 9)
Can you clarify if this is your own opinion on what the shin represents or are you basing it on something?

Re: 12)
Can you clarify that you do not take the SJD in 4:102 to mean prostration as you said
"You have respectfully, yet without warrant, inferred a 'physical prostration'. If we simply allow the primary meaning of the word SJD to remain operative (i.e. SJD = humility, pay respect, honour, salute and humble), then salat can end once the spiritual experience of prayer is completed irrespective of whether or not this means a physical prostration. you do not"
but then later said
"'Fa'idha sajadu' (Then when they have prostrated)".

Do you mean "then when they have paid respect" or similar?

###

If I have understood you correctly, out of all the verse examples I highlighted, you consider none to CLEARLY refer to physical prostration (even though many are referring to humans doing SJD)?


Quote
I hope you do not see it as anything more than two believers attempting to mull over God's messages with sincerity in the midst of a proverbial campfire.

I like to think two akhwi*/brothers, but yes, of course that is how I take it.  :)
*or whatever the dual is.





Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 07:45:53 AM »
Dear brother Wakas,

As-salam alaykum

Please see my responses to your comments in red


*or whatever the dual is.

2 brothers = akhwaan

akh - a brother (singular)
ikhwa - plural (3+) brothers

We are indeed 'akhwaan' discussing over the proverbial campfire  :)

I agree with what you said, however the only thing I'd add is that when it comes to "different meanings depending on context" I have a preference for evidence - what I mean by this is ideally there should be a logical/practical reason why one meaning is chosen rather than another. For example I do not give much weight to reason such as "I like meaning A better than meaning B". I can appreciate that sometimes having such a preference can occur, as there may be no evidence either way, but this should be kept to a minimum.

Of course I agree. I would only dare to infer and work with the language of the Arabs as has reached us and cite appropriate sources as best evidence. We both appreciate that words have different nuances in languages depending on their contextual usage known to those that speak the language and study it. I gave the example of the English word 'touch' as you will recall from my earlier post.

I would not knowingly invent my own meanings to words which were never understood by the Arabs in that context or ‘pick and choose’ without warrant.

You will have noted my unreserved explicit statement:

Only the language of the Arabs can determine how best to interpret SJD in a particular context, much like it is for us 'as native English speakers' to specify how 'touch' is used and understood in different contexts in English.

Yes, there may be a difference of opinion, but a combination of the language of the Arabs and an ardent analysis of the Quran will yield the best rendition in my humble opinion.

As you know very well dear brother, there are some Muslims that show almost complete disregard for the language of the Arabs as it has come to us as knowledge through literature and in general parlance. I understand that you and I are of the same view on this point. Note how many times you yourself have rightly asked for 'CAD' references in many of your encounters with others.

Re: 2)
You never commented on: "If we accept that someone may prostrate physically (nose and forehead on ground) willingly, how can we understand this unwillingly? Does God push people on their faces forcefully so that they fall down on their noses and foreheads unwillingly?"

Please clarify.


An example of unwilling:

The unwilling components are those that despite not showing humility and obedience to God are in fact, still part of God's creation and subject to His will. God still keeps them alive, He still provides them sustenance and will still hold them to account on the Day of Judgement. Furthermore, some do prostrate in congregations but not out of reverence but rather as show. This is another example of an 'unwilling' group.

"...And when they stand up for salat, they stand without earnestness / lazily, to be seen of people / showing off to people, but little do they hold God in remembrance..." (4:142 part)

Re: 6)
Did you cite the correct verse, i.e. 16:22?


Numbers 16:22 is a reference to the Torah (Old Testament) to indicate that even the prophets of old fell on their faces in humility to show their reverence to God in worship.  The similitude with the ancients in general was cited in verse 48:29 of the Quran (i.e. That is their similitude in the Torah - dhalika mathaluhum fi-l'taurah)

Re: 8 )
Out of curiosity are you aware of a passive verb usage in Quran wherein the doer and receiver are one and the same person? I understand that this would take ages to check, but if you know of an example etc please let me know. I just thought it was a strange usage, hence my request.


I have respectfully not argued for a 'physical' prostration in this verse exclusively.  As I mentioned, 'or after they had become 'lowly', 'submissive' having submitted to the truth manifested to them'. The latter 'manifestation of truth' also caused them to become lowly / submissive.

Re: 9)
Can you clarify if this is your own opinion on what the shin represents or are you basing it on something?


It is an interpretation based on the language of the Arabs.

As I respectfully shared ‘the shin being bared’ is a time when everything will be laid out in the open, where one will feel a sense of humiliation. It is a time of extreme distress and difficulty when the event of one's deed will be opened up for scrutiny and full disclosure. For some, the impending doom will become evident.

Grammarians express that the 'saaq' (shank / shin) is usually an expression cited to express the difficulty of a particular situation and the subsequent terror that will come by it. The difficulty here is the bringing out in the open of one's deeds for scrutiny and the subsequent terror is the impending doom that will be the evident consequence.

Please see below a citation to support this view:

"...they mention the ساق when they mean to express the difficulty of a case or an event, and to tell of the terror occasioned thereby. (K, TA.) Thus, the saying ... (S, K, TA,) in the Kur [68:42], (S, TA,) [lit. On a day when a shank shall be uncovered,] means (assumed tropical:) on a day when difficulty, or calamity, shall be disclosed..." [1]

REFERENCE: [1] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 4, Page 1471

Re: 12)
Can you clarify that you do not take the SJD in 4:102 to mean prostration as you said
"You have respectfully, yet without warrant, inferred a 'physical prostration'. If we simply allow the primary meaning of the word SJD to remain operative (i.e. SJD = humility, pay respect, honour, salute and humble), then salat can end once the spiritual experience of prayer is completed irrespective of whether or not this means a physical prostration. you do not"
but then later said
"'Fa'idha sajadu' (Then when they have prostrated)".

Do you mean "then when they have paid respect" or similar?


Yes that is correct. I explained what I meant by 'Then when they have prostrated' as simply referring to 'the condition when they have completed their reverence to God (i.e. their prayer). This may or may not include prostration. As I have respectfully shared, a physical prostration is one method of showing reverence.

If I have understood you correctly, out of all the verse examples I highlighted, you consider none to CLEARLY refer to physical prostration (even though many are referring to humans doing SJD)?

I tackled the primary meaning of 'SJD' as to show humility, submissiveness, to be humbled, show reverence, salute, honour, pay regards, respects etc. Physical prostration is just one method to show this. I also distinguished between two forms of physical prostration in humans. One done in respect, general reverence to other human beings and one done in worship / reverence to God.

Some SJD (reverence, show of humility, submissiveness) do manifest as physical prostrations.  One example in the worship of God is cited in verse 48:29

Your brother in faith,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline optimist

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 04:59:29 PM »
Salaam!

Without interrupting the discussion let me make one post here.

12) Re: 4:102 ...and thou uphold/establish the salat/bond for/to them, then let a group from among them stand/uphold//establish with thee and let them bring their weapons; then when they have SaJaD then let them be behind you (plural)...
Issues:
---it would imply that salat ends upon SJD, but if salat=prayer and SJD=prostration here, then we know traditional Muslim prayer has at least two prostrations per unit of prayer, not one, thus the verse by itself is not clear or does not make sense. The only way for it to make some sense would be to say traditional Muslim prayer normally consists of two prostrations, and since it is during wartime this can be reduced to one prostration. There is no such thing as a unit of prayer according to The Quran, nor do traditional Muslims do it in this manner (i.e. prayer does not end with prostration), but this explanation is just to show what sense could be made of this verse according to the traditional understanding.
---it implies that one must take AND hold their weapons/goods with them (by use of 'tadaAAoo / lay down', later in the verse), but if it is understood as traditional Muslim prayer then physically bowing, kneeling and prostrating like this would be impractical and somewhat dangerous, e.g. prostrating with swords!
---it says if impeded by rain or illness then one can lay down weapons but does not say anything about being excluded from prostrating. So the obvious question becomes what kind of rain/illness would prevent one from carrying weapons yet allow one to physically prostrate? It would seem there is no easy answer to this problem.
---We are also left with another problem, because if we accept that the regular/timed salat involves recitation of AQ which is strongly evidenced by AQ itself, and agreed upon by almost all [see 2:43-45, 4:103, 5:12-13, 7:169-170, 8:2-3, 19:58-59, 29:45, 31:2-7, 33:33-34, 17:78], then we know we are commanded to SJD when it is relayed to us [84:20-22, 19:58, 32:15], but if we were to do this in the regular/timed salat and we know salat ends with SJD according to 4:102 then it would last less than 20 seconds!
Views on these 4 issues?

Dear brother wakas,

I can agree with you if you say the Quranic terms like Salat and SJD have got vast meanings, not limited to physical performance alone.    In the verse you have quoted above, it is definitely something to do with physical performance of Salat and SJD.  The verse is guiding Muslims how to offer physical performance of Salaat and SJD during a war time.   You have raised some questions to show the message is something different (not clear what is the essence of the directions in the verse according to you); unfortunately they are not such logical points.

1. Firstly, one group of Muslims should join the Sal’at first retaining their arms.  It does not necessarily mean they should carry their weapon in their hands.   Even if they place their weapon close to them it can mean carrying the arms.   The point highlighted in the verse is not to neglect the weapon because; while they are involved in Salaat there is possibility of enemy army make a sudden attack.  This point is specifically highlighted in the verse.   They should keep their weapon close to them so as to access instantly in case of any emergency.    And to face any emergent situation there is other group who are not participating in salaat and SJD.  They will offer prayer after the first group finished their prayers.

2. There is no need to be obsessed with the type of prayer they did.   Even a prayer can finish by SJD, however, it is possible that the Quran has highlighted the main aspect of Slaat which is SDJ.   It is something to do with how the Muslim community at that point of time designed a prayer (through mutual consultation) to meet a war like situation.   

3. Allah has given an exception not to retain arms during rain or illness (still it is mentioned that we should be vigilant) to avoid any inconvenience to carrying and keeping the weapon all the time during such time.   It is possible that some people might be unwell to retain the arms but able to pray.  In a rainly situation it could be inconvenient to carry arms.  But one group keeping vigilant without participating in the prayer is still valid (until the other group finishes their prayer)
 
Quote
Examples of a twice daily seemingly in Quran itself: 6:52-53, 18:27-28.

This is from one your previous posts.  I believe the Quranic usage of the term “morning and evening”  refers to the whole day and NOT related to any particular time in the morning and in the evening.   Here is the evidence.

"They will not there hear any vain discourse, but only salutations of Peace: and they will have therein their sustenance, morning and evening." (19:62)

Here it does not mean food will be ‘served’ in heaven only in the morning and evening.  It does not mean there is no “Lunch”.

"..and they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening." (25:5)

Here it does not mean they are accusing prophet doing something only in the morning time and evening time.

And to God submits whosoever is in the heavens and the earth willingly or unwillingly and like wise do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings. (13:15)

Here it does not refer to shadows only in the morning time and in the evening time. 

In front of the Fire will they be brought, morning and evening: and (the sentence will be) on the Day that Judgment will be established: "Cast ye the People of Pharaoh into the severest Penalty!" (40:46)

Again, here it does not mean they will be brought only in the morning time and evening time!

Therefore, in the verses you have quoted and also the verses like the below where celebrating Allah’s praises are mentitioned, it actually refers to the whole day, not a particular time in the morning and in the evening.

"So Zakariya came out to his people from him chamber: He told them by signs to celebrate Allah's praises in the morning and in the evening. (19:11)

"..In order that ye (O men) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, that ye may assist and honour Him, and celebrate His praise morning and evening. (48:9)

"...and glorify Him morning and evening.(33:42)

Regards
Optimist
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 06:06:11 PM »
I believe the Quranic usage of the term “morning and evening”  refers to the whole day and NOT related to any particular time in the morning and in the evening.   Here is the evidence.

Dear respected brother Optimist

As-salam alaykum

I completely agree with your point above and the evidence that you have cited from the Quran completely corroborates this.

On a slightly separate note, someone recently informed me in a discussion that other languages which often borrow words from Arabic and retain similar meanings also make use of a similar expression.

The language in question was 'Urdu' and the expression 'subha o-shaam' (morning and evening) 'apparently' is usually expressed to mean all day as opposed to just two parts of the day.

Obviously those who are familiar with the language on this forum will be able to better comment. I just found it interesting in light of your point here.

Your brother in faith,
Joseph  :)


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Offline Wakas

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Re: Comments on Five Prayers & Meaning of Sujud - Wakas
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 09:16:08 PM »
peace brother Joseph,

Thanks for the clarifications. I have added that Lane's Lexicon reference to the article.

Quote
I tackled the primary meaning of 'SJD' as to show humility, submissiveness, to be humbled, show reverence, salute, honour, pay regards, respects etc. Physical prostration is just one method to show this. I also distinguished between two forms of physical prostration in humans. One done in respect, general reverence to other human beings and one done in worship / reverence to God.

Some SJD (reverence, show of humility, submissiveness) do manifest as physical prostrations.  One example in the worship of God is cited in verse 48:29

I personally do not consider 48:29 a clear example of this, but I accept it is possible it refers to physical prostration.

Thanks for the discussion. In my article, I basically have the same conclusion/thoughts as you have expressed.

I hope that my article allows people to weigh up all the evidence, then make an informed decision, as that was the primary purpose of the article. Personally, I found it interesting, as I'm sure others also, that there does seem to be a lack of clear examples demonstrating "sujud" means "physical prostration" in Quran, even though it is used many times referring to humans doing SJD.